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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too late! 'Waited too long, I guess -- NOT a year-round trail after all, as I had been led to believe. 'Encountered 8-12 inches of the white stuff halfway up the DNR road and was only able to slog my way as far as the bridge at Wallace Lake. I only continued that far because there were two sets of tracks ahead of my own and I refused to turn around until THEY did. Anyway, I caught up with them at the lake finally. My feet were frozen blocks by then and the snow got a lot deeper across the bridge, so it was turn-around time for me. I suppose the other two were cold as well, but as they were still passing Budweisers back and forth, I don't s'pose it bothered 'em all that much. (Now that's my kind of mountain biking! ;-)

So, FYI, for those heading for Wallace, don't forget to bring a six-pack along!

P.S. Ranger said snow's probably there for keeps now.
 

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SRR said:
Too late! 'Waited too long, I guess -- NOT a year-round trail after all, as I had been led to believe. 'Encountered 8-12 inches of the white stuff halfway up the DNR road and was only able to slog my way as far as the bridge at Wallace Lake. I only continued that far because there were two sets of tracks ahead of my own and I refused to turn around until THEY did. Anyway, I caught up with them at the lake finally. My feet were frozen blocks by then and the snow got a lot deeper across the bridge, so it was turn-around time for me. I suppose the other two were cold as well, but as they were still passing Budweisers back and forth, I don't s'pose it bothered 'em all that much. (Now that's my kind of mountain biking! ;-)

So, FYI, for those heading for Wallace, don't forget to bring a six-pack along!

P.S. Ranger said snow's probably there for keeps now.
Sounds like some of the rail trail stuff I've been trying to ride on my cyclocross bike. Check your PM's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
zdfg said:
Sounds like some of the rail trail stuff I've been trying to ride on my cyclocross bike.
No doubt, as I never got to the 'trail' itself, which represents only 5 miles or so OAB. There's a new single-track -- marked the 'Greg Ball Trail' -- which heads back down from the DNR road, but the snow was way too deep and my feet were already gone. Even so, I doubt I'll revisit this one: too little return for the drive (from Tacoma), I think, although I had some fun chasing those yahoos with the beer. 'Just checking the box here mainly. Good Dick and Jane pick for the summer though. ;-)
 

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Snow rides

I think you can run the snow covered trails in the winter. Its mostly a matter of timing. First you need to follow the snowmobile trails, then you have to have some warm weather and maybe some rain and then some some cold weather to turn everything pretty hard. Then your pretty well set, We had some kind of warm weather here monday when it got to 38 or so. Today it was 22 so I knew things were pretty frozen. I went up Cle Elum Ridge. We still have a little snow here. Even if you walk its only 1350 elevation gain.

It was hike-a-bike for the second half of the ridge. The first half was rideable.
Coming down was like riding with two flats. Heres a pic from the top.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
borregokid said:
I think you can run the snow covered trails in the winter. Its mostly a matter of timing. First you need to follow the snowmobile trails, then you have to have some warm weather and maybe some rain and then some some cold weather to turn everything pretty hard. Then your pretty well set, We had some kind of warm weather here monday when it got to 38 or so. Today it was 22 so I knew things were pretty frozen. I went up Cle Elum Ridge. We still have a little snow here. Even if you walk its only 1350 elevation gain.

It was hike-a-bike for the second half of the ridge. The first half was rideable.
Coming down was like riding with two flats. Heres a pic from the top.

https://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a60/borregokid/P1010038.jpg
I think I spotted a thread of yours a while back, which mentioned riding Cle Elum Ridge in the snow. . . and I remember thinking at the time, 'Man, that guy is just too hardcore for me!' :-o

Hell, last time I did that ridge -- summer before last, I think -- I got nailed by a thunderstorm, which I'd been hoping to outrun ever since the Lookout Mtn intersection (top of the 'Pvt Road' on the ORV map -- beyond the yellow gate, across the creek -- where it intersects #1326). And it'd started as a sunny, 80 degrees kinda day! So I went up/down, up/down, up/down trying to keep ahead of those dark clouds -- man, what a ball-buster that ridge is! -- but to no avail ultimately. When I reached the final descending section above Taneum Junction, the rain drops were producing bigger dust clouds than my rear wheel! and then -- wham! -- I had lightning touching down within yards of me (no exaggeration)! I hardly knew what to do -- me on my mobile lightning rod -- so I just kept pedaling like crazy, even though within minutes the trail had turned into a river, which told me whether I was climbing or descending just by virtue of which way the water was flowing!

I told myself then that I never wanted to revisit Elk Heights under inclement conditions. . . . That was one scary ride.

Still, dry cold is WAY better than wet, and some snow conditions make for good riding, as you say. One of the best rides I ever had was down Fife's Ridge one late fall, just after the very first two inches of fresh powder had coated the entire trail. Man, traction was great -- what a hoot that was! :-]

Well, it's good to know that some things are still doable Cle Elum-way in winter. I never woulda guessed that otherwise -- or even thought to enquire. Thanks for the tips! Hey, you're lucky to live nearby. I've always believed Cle Elum could be another Moab, only WAY better! :)
 

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Man, it's been years since I've riden Wallace Falls. I'll have to put that in the "list for 2006"
 

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For people up on my end of town, Wallace is always a good training ride. Just as good as Tiger or better IMHO and no crowds. The new Greg Ball trail is an awesome singeltrack downhill too. Soon to be signed "no bikes" from what I've heard. Greg passed away recently and was a pretty good guy and really helped the WTA realize that the BBTC and mountain bikers in general are not what Harvey and Ira kept telling everyone we were back in the late 80's. Good guy.
Ride up the road/trail past the lake and out to Jay Lake and back. Then, down the GB Trail.
Not the best in the world, but a nice alternative for the northenders. Great beach at the far end of the lake which is a nice place to stop along the way.
 

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Borneo said:
Not the best in the world, but a nice alternative for the northenders. Great beach at the far end of the lake which is a nice place to stop along the way.
Thanks for the tip. :)

Mellow Yellow said:
Man, it's been years since I've riden Wallace Falls. I'll have to put that in the "list for 2006"
Let us know when you go, if you want company, i'd like to tag along. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Borneo said:
The new Greg Ball trail is an awesome singeltrack downhill too. Soon to be signed "no bikes" from what I've heard.
FYI, a park maintenance guy, an older gentleman I passed returning along the rail trail at the bottom, approached me in the parking lot to learn what state things were in up top, whether there were any trees down or other obstacles along the way (evidently me and Team Budweiser were the only ones who'd been up there since the snow came). Anyway, I mentioned the Greg Ball trail and expressed the same concern. He said that the Ranger there was unlikely to close that trail to bikes, unless riders started getting hurt (like many, I guess, they only have a vague idea of what we look for and what mtb capabilities are*). He said hikers stick pretty much to the hiker-only Woody trail lower down and that conflicts should not be an issue. That is, he was aware of no current plan to post the trail 'No Bikes' (and he was the guy who'd likely be nailing the signs in place).

Of course, there are plenty of those who simply dislike the 'idea' of our being there at all, so -- well -- I hope he's right. :-|

*Just how 'downhillish' is that trail anyway? Man, I wish the snow hadn't been so deep! :-[
 

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That's realy good news about the trail! I thought about doing some of the WTA work parties last winter but never did. If you ride it give it some love! Bring a small saw ect....
 

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It's actually pretty technical until towards the bottom when it opens up a little bit. So, not a "DH" trail where you can open it up by any means. And, I like it! Think narrow hiking trail but mostly heading down and you've got it. Some side hill stuff and some switchbacks.
I don't think anyone made it all the way without a dab here and there. But, the upper section wasn't quite completed at that time either.
Definately a lot more fun than going back down the logging road. Unless it's summer and you want to cross the river above the falls and take the trail down into Reiter pit. That's a blast too.
Keeping it open would put Wallace back on my regular summer rotation.
 
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